Is it Safe to Drink Tap Water?

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With numerous brands of bottled water and high-tech filtration systems, it leads us to wonder if drinking a glass of tap water is a safe thing to do. Generally speaking, drinking tap water is a relatively safe thing to do for the majority of the country, but that doesn’t mean there is room for concern. 

There are three different types of drinking water: tap water, filtered water, and bottled water. When it comes to the differences between the three, they are marginal at best. In fact, some studies have shown that 25% of bottled water is nothing more than tap water. Filtered water is simply tap water that has been processed through a filter to remove any contaminants, though the process of filtering isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. 

Tap water is a catch-all term for water that is provided by a municipal water district, so the quality varies regionally. Tap water in certain cities goes through rigorous testing and treating standards, while other sources like ‘well water’ do not have the same standards. 

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Drinking tap water provides the same health benefits as drinking other types of water: it will hydrate you, lubricate your joints, and provide the necessary components for your body to carry out essential biological processes. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, tap water may be reasonably expected to contain small amounts of contaminants. Hearing this may seem like a cause for alarm, but there is no reason for concern.

The standards set forth by the EPA limit the amount of contaminants in tap water to levels that will pose no health risks when consuming it. Every year, you are entitled to receive a water quality report in the mail from your local water supplier, informing you of the source of your tap water and what’s in it, giving you greater insight into the quality of your water. 

There are, unfortunately, some areas where local municipal water systems have not provided residents with the proper care and protection of their water. Some notable cases include Flint, Michigan, where the water has been deemed unsafe to drink. Cases like these are rare though, making them far from the norm. 

When it comes down to it, most people prefer to buy bottled water or purchase a filtration system for a far simpler reason: they prefer the taste of it. Drinking tap water is more than likely a totally safe thing to do, but if your tastebuds would prefer something else, there’s no harm in that. In the end, simply staying hydrated is good enough. 

Avid writer and reader with a curious mind. I'm always looking to get the most out of life! Follow me on Twitter @whatsaschoon

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